Disclaimer: I do not own The Big Bang Theory or any of its characters. As you know, Bill Prady, Chuck Lorre and all the rest do, even if I'm not sure they should at this moment in time. The following story is only meant as an homage to characters I adore who should just get the freak back together already. :-)

Author's Note: This story (my first ever fiction of any kind, anywhere) takes place after the first episode of season 9, and is just one of the ways I'm dreaming about Sheldon and Amy finding their way back to each other. I've attempted to keep all the characters IC. It will be at least 2 chapters, we'll see how far it develops. Hope you enjoy.

Amy Farrah Fowler paused on the 3rd floor landing of 2311 Los Robles, not sure she could round the corner and finish her assent to the 4th floor. Pull it together, she thought to herself, this is for your bestie... You can't let him keep you from living your life. You can do this. Taking a deep breath she lifted her chin, unhunched her shoulders ever so slightly, gripped her wrapped gift tighter and turned to complete the climb to 4A.

Though Leonard and Penny were quite content with their decision to elope (well, once that kissing-another-woman issue had finally been worked through), they soon realized just how many people were a little disappointed not to have been able to be present for the big day. Raj in particular kept insisting they should have a "wedding reception" once back home. He argued it would give their extended circle of friends the chance to wish them well, drink to their future and of course, shower them with gifts that might help them equip their now-shared apartment in a manner more befitting a mature, married couple. Well, a mature, married couple with a plethora of superhero toys and comic books… Oh well, Penny had thought, baby steps. As long as she didn't need to get rid of any of her shoes to make space for his collectibles, they'd figure it out.

When Raj finally offered to plan the entire thing (dude, would he ever get to plan a big wedding for any of his friends?!) so that all they had to do was show up, get hugged and collect their loot they finally relented.

So it was that 3 ½ weeks after their Vegas wedding all of Leonard and Penny's friends and many co-workers from Caltech, the Cheesecake Factory and the biotech firm were at 4A to congratulate the newlyweds. Even Captain Sweatpants was there (apparently Stuart had loose lips at the comic book store), but since he came bearing an appropriately wrapped gift and wearing what appeared to be a clean t-shirt Raj welcomed him as the gracious host he was.

Amy knew she couldn't stay away, but when Penny had first told her of their plans she also felt like she couldn't attend. "I just don't know that I can spend that much time in a room with him, Penny."

"I know sweetie, I understand your feelings, but I just can't imagine you not being there. I'm really sorry that you didn't get to be my maid of honor Ames, please at least come celebrate with us. It won't be the same without you. It sounds like there will be lots of people there you could mingle with to avoid him. Honestly, I've barely seen Dr. Whackadoodle since we got home, he seems to spend most of his time in his room; I'm not even sure if he'll come out for the party. And Leonard and I will keep an eye out and make sure he stays away from you. I'm sure Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Emily would all be happy to help, too."

"No, that's ok." Amy was adamant, "I don't want to put them in the middle of Sheldon and I. I think the group dynamics will be hard enough as it is going forward. I don't want everyone to feel like they have to choose sides. I'll come. We'll have to get used to running into each other sometime."

When Amy had first arrived to find 4A already half-filled with guests, Sheldon had been sitting in his spot on the couch, staring into space. She tried hard to not look at him.

Oh man, he's wearing that blue dress shirt that brings out his eyes. Heaven help me…

But she could feel Sheldon's eyes on her as she set her gift down and hugged her best friend and her new husband. As they quickly embraced Leonard whispered "I'm glad you came, Amy" into her hair and her eyes immediately filled with tears.

Darn it, she thought, not for the first time, why do all his friends have to be so nice? No, she chided herself, they are my friends, too.

Sheldon had already taken her hopes and dreams, she wouldn't let him have their mutual friends. Penny and Bernadette, well really even Leonard, Howard and Raj had been almost as important in her transformation from lonely wallflower to outgoing party girl as Sheldon himself had. Having a group of people in the world who liked her just as she was was more than she dared hope for most of her life. She loved them all and knew now that she needed them, no matter what happened with Sheldon. The truth was everyone in their group had been wonderful to her since she had broken up with him. They seemed to know she was afraid she would lose them, too, and went out of their way to make sure she knew they cared. Howard, Leonard and Raj had all brought their lunch trays to her lab to eat with her several times over the last few weeks, and Penny and Bernadette texted her almost daily to chat about little things. With the post-wedding whirlwind and Penny and Leonard's work to integrate their stuff into tiny 4B the ladies hadn't managed a Girls' Night since the wedding, but had finally planned one for the next weekend.

None of the gang had pumped her for information about her and Sheldon, and for that she was grateful. She wasn't sure she could talk about him without crying and frankly, she cried so much when she was alone she felt all desiccated as it was. Still, she couldn't miss the fact that they all treated her with kid gloves and were clearly worried about her. Amy couldn't blame them. She knew her emotional turmoil was having physical results. Her lack of hunger as of late led to her cardigans being slightly baggy and left her skirts hanging limply rather than hugging her beckoning pelvis as before. Even her hair had lost it's duck-caught-in-an-oil-spill shine, as if it, too, were in mourning.

As Penny had promised, the hours of the party had passed and Amy had hardly seen Sheldon all night, as he had disappeared down the hall shortly after she had arrived, and returned only briefly when Howard had called him out to listen to some toasts he and Raj had prepared. Sheldon stood patiently listening, then disappeared once again.


Sheldon had spent the evening lying on his bed in his vampire-in-a-coffin pose, staring at the ceiling. He could hear the chatter of the party in the living room, but his ears strained for snippets of Amy's voice among the rest. He couldn't make out anything she said, but just hearing the tone of her voice was enough. How he missed her voice. Seeing her walk through his door tonight had almost made him come undone. She was wearing a dress he had never seen. That meant she had gone shopping and he hadn't known. What else was she doing that he had no knowledge of? He could tell she looked slimmer since only a few weeks ago. Had she also been unable to eat as he had? Unable to sleep? Is that why she bought a new dress? The thought made him hopeful. Or...or had she been intentionally losing weight and buying new clothes to attract someone else? That was ridiculous, of course, she was perfect as she was. He knew Penny was always trying to get her to change, though. Maybe she had told her she should try to –

Wait, oh no, or was she doing it because she already had someone else? He suddenly felt very ill. Just then her voice drifted down the hall, laughing a bit, mixed with Raj's voice, also laughing. His stomach flipped and he really did have to suppress the urge to vomit for a moment. How could she be laughing? How could anyone be laughing in the world at this moment? His mouth felt dry, and his eyes ached from him having broken down in tears again that afternoon before the party. Thinking of Leonard and Penny, getting to celebrate their happy ending, getting to live their married life across the hall…he had lost it. Again. When did I become such a hippie? No, more important, when did I become someone who could be jealous of LEONARD? The horror… He tried to shake the thoughts from his head and slipped out of his room to splash some water on his face and grab a drink. Maybe he'd get to steal a glimpse of Amy again…


Bernadette and Amy had ended up at the kitchen island, both grabbing another cup of punch at the same time. Bernie, who hadn't seen Amy much in person since the breakup had noticed her friend's changed appearance, and grew concerned. She knew they'd get a chance to chat at Girls' Night, but couldn't resist asking one question while they were alone. "Amy, I'm just curious and you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, but can I ask you what finally happened to make you end it with Sheldon?"

At that precise moment Sheldon emerged from the hallway with the intent of grabbing a bottle of water before again retreating to his room, and overheard Bernadette's inquiry, coming to an abrupt halt. The party wasn't overly loud, but he knew no one else was close enough to hear over the general buzz as the tiny blonde asked his beloved the most important question in the world. The question she had never answered even for him. The only question he could imagine mattering at all at this point in time. Thanking a deity he didn't believe in for his Vulcan hearing he leaned against the wall and tried to look casual so no one who happened to glance at the hallway would notice him eavesdropping. He also tried to will himself to keep breathing as he listened, but that was a harder chore.

Bernadette continued "I mean I know you didn't feel that he showed you enough affection but way you were gushing last Girls' Night it sounded like you were pretty far from breaking up with him and the next thing I hear it's over. Penny told me he talked about some superhero while you were kissing on your anniversary, is that really what did it?" Seeing Amy's face fall Bernie immediately felt like she had overstepped some line and tried to backtrack "I'm not saying it's not ok if that was it, I'm just curious, as your friend. It seems like this is really rough on you. I'm sorry...I shouldn't have asked."

Amy's shoulders slumped as she sighed, but she met Bernie's eyes and the smaller woman was relieved to see Amy didn't look angry with her. But then again, the pain and resignation she saw in her eyes was far worse. "No, Bernadette, it's ok. You're right, I had been fairly happy with our relationship. But there was always this doubt in the back of my mind, this knowledge that I just couldn't admit so I kept pushing it away. When Sheldon brought up The Flash literally in the middle of us kissing, once I knew what was in his mind, well, it just hit me...I couldn't deny it anymore. The simple fact is that no matter how much I love him, no matter how much he thinks he loves me, no matter how long I wait, or how patient I am, it will never happen. I will always be waiting, worrying about scaring him away, worrying about him being overwhelmed and leaving."

Bernadette nodded her head understandingly. "You mean that you two will never have sex?"

Amy sighed and replied "No, that's not it. I mean, yes, I guess that's part of it, it's hard knowing he doesn't desire me physically, but that's not really the point. I wanted it all with him: marriage, a family, happily ever after. I love him so much I just kept believing it could happen. But I was stupid. He could never let me in like that. He's never going to commit to me. That's just not Sheldon and it isn't fair to either of us for me to hang around expecting it to be. What else could I do?"

Bernadette said nothing - what could she possibly say? She knew what Sheldon meant to Amy, but she couldn't refute anything she had just heard. Instead she reached out and gave her friend a hug, patting her back and silently letting her know she was there for her. The two women stood like that for a moment, eyes closed in the friendly embrace, until they heard a throat clear just behind them and opened their eyes to see Sheldon standing in the kitchen. When he spoke it was in a low voice neither of them recognized as belonging to him.

"Bernadette, could you please give us a moment?"